Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Reading and 2013 Plans

The other day I talked about my Bible reading for 2012 and pondered plans for 2013.  Now it's time to talk about all those other books.

I'd set myself a goal of two books per month, one fiction and one non-fiction, not including reading for our homeschool.  That's not a very impressive goal, but even at that I didn't exactly make it.  I read 15 novels but only eight non-fiction books for myself.   But, as always, there is overlap in my worlds.  I picked up 1066: The Year of the Conquest for myself, but ended up handing it over to my fifteen-year-old to read and discuss with me.  So was it a homeschool book or personal reading?   I also read The Monk in the Garden to my kids, but I listened to myself as I read, so I also got the benefit of it.  (What, you've never zoned out reading a book to your kids?)

So, I can't say I did enough reading, with 33 books all told, but it was OK.   I did exceed my goal, so I'm happy about that.

My favorite non-fiction book for the year was The Brother Gardeners; my favorite fiction was either The Invisible Bridge or Jane Eyre.  I could break out categories (contemporary fiction, classics) but that requires too much thinking.

Now for next year.  I found a couple of flaws in setting a specific number of books to read:  I tend to shun very long books, and I tend to read too fast if I feel I am running out of time.  Jane Eyre is a book to savor, but I found myself getting impatient because it was taking me too long to finish.  So, I'm sure I didn't give every chapter the attention it was due. So for next year I'm not setting a goal for a number of books, but rather for time each day to read.  An hour a day of reading of my own sounds good for a start. Actually right now that seems like a lot; an hour goes by so quickly in this house!
 I will be doing even more reading related to homeschooling, but look at what's coming up in the Schoolhouse in 2013:  Beowulf, The Divine Comedy (well, at least Inferno because that's the most interesting and fun of the three), To Kill A Mockingbird, Fahrenheit 451, and others I would have to look up in my homeschool notebook, which has been nowhere to be found for the past two weeks. I've read all those before, but reading them again is not going to be a burden.  There's another plus for homeschooling teens - all the good books we get to read together.  I learn at least as much as my children do, of course. I know that's a cliche but it's true.

I also want to tackle at least one really big book next year.  For a long time I've wanted to read the unabridged Les Miserables.  I count that as one of my favorite books but it's been many years since I read it, and I didn't even know till two years ago that I'd read a heavily-abridged edition.  So I want to read it again for the first time. By the way, I feel compelled to say that my interest in Les Miserables has nothing to do with the movie. I saw the stage musical years ago and despised it.  I'm not a big fan of musicals anyway, but this book in particular seems ill-suited for that treatment. I know that I'm pretty much alone in that opinion, but there it is. 

My reading list can be found on my 2012 Reading page.  I'll set one up for 2013 when I finish my first book, which will probably be Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers. I don't expect to do any better on keeping my list updated book-by-book or month-by-month than I did last year, but as always I will give it a try.  I had to do a bit of catch-up today to get it done.  I also keep track of my books on Goodreads and am happy to see people over there too.

What did you read in 2012?  What are you doing to read in 2013?  What should I add to my to-read list?  It's already pretty long, but I'm always open to suggestions.

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